another C++ guy wants to draw 3D

I am looking for suggestions on which mid-level API to use to get into OpenGL. Or perhaps there are even better approaches. (Cant be too expensive, though.)

I am an experienced C++ programmer. I have a bunch of routines for computing all kinds of interesting things related to astrodynamics and I want to display the results in 3D. Like the Earth, and the spacecraft in its orbit and the evolution of the orbit over time and the s/c footprint and comm linkages, and ground stations, etc. Basicaly, the globe and a bunch of dots, lines and opaque surfaces around/on/through it.

I am not particularly interested in learning 3D programming for the sake of it, but have no problem learning as much as needed to get the job done.

There seems to be A LOT of information out there and I’m a total newbie. Any suggestions really appreciated.

glut should be good enough for what you want to do.

If you don’t want to bother about HOW everything is drawn, perhaps a higher level API would be better.

Have a look at It’s not really easy to use, but if your goal is displaying rather complex scenes it’s way easier to learn than plain OpenGL.